September 26, 2016 by Jean
I’m chagrined to realize that I’ve let two weeks slide by without posting here. It really is a busy season! Part of what has made September so busy is the overlap between the first classes of the year at the Senior College and the last classes for this year in my certificate program at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.
My first Senior College class took place on Tuesday of last week. For eight consecutive Tuesdays, I am teaching a course on women’s activism in 19th century America, the same course I taught there last year. The class is limited to 20 and has 19 officially enrolled, but several people were absent the first week. The dozen who were present were a very lively and interesting group. Several are women who married and had children right after high school and then went back to school for college degrees later in life. Quite a few are retired teachers. One of the treats of having so many teachers in the class is that they know how to have a productive discussion. The students spoke directly to one another, rather than directing all their comments to me, and they referenced one another’s contributions (as in, “I think Betty made a really important point a few minutes ago”). I’m looking forward to a fun course! Just by coincidence of the calendar, our last class, which focuses on the successful conclusion in the early 20th century of the fight for women’s voting rights, will be on election day, November 8! It should add some extra excitement to our last class.
I’m also looking forward to the last classes of the year for my Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture. Later this week, I’ll travel out to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens for a 2-day course on invasive plants, taught by a leading botanist from the New England Wild Flower Society. This is the class I’ve been most excited about taking. As I drive around Maine at this time of year, I am very aware of large tracts of Japanese knotweed in bloom. Their flowers are lovely and I can understand why nurseries sold them and people planted them in their gardens in earlier times, but they have now escaped from those gardens and form dense colonies where nothing else can grow. I am passionately interested in the problem of invasive plants and am looking forward to learning more about how to avoid adding potentially invasive plants to our gardens and how to combat the spread of those already here. In the future, I hope I can make a contribution as a Master Gardener Volunteer in educating the public about invasive plants or possibly organizing some local eradication efforts.
As September ends and various garden-related projects wind down, I’m looking forward to time for activities I’ve been neglecting – like blogging and that mountain of firewood still sitting in my driveway.